Wednesday after Quasimodogeniti
Scripture: St. John 3:22-36 (NKJV)
22 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.
23 Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. 24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison. 25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!” 27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33 He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. 34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. 35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Today we have a text which elaborates upon the age-old question, “how is man saved?” Our question surfaced when John’s disciples ask him about the One Who was with you before, is now baptizing, and everyone seems to be running after Him! “We’ve followed you, how can this be?” they are asking. John quickly clears the air for them by saying, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.”
With these words we see that if anything that is right, pure, and salutary in the sight of God must come from God. For what saves, must be commanded by God. Immediately John sees that the end of His ministry—of pointing to Who the Christ is—has come to an end. Therefore, his joy is fulfilled, which means all things must now point to Christ and away from John.
Today we are still faced with the question within the Church regarding salvation. Here we must remember and follow after John the Baptist’s example, and remember that if something is in dispute, ask whether it has been given by God in Christ. Has it been instituted by God, practiced by God, delivered by God for the sake of purifying mankind? If not run in the opposite direction. For if a teaching is not from Christ, it is from Satan, who is the father of lies.
So how is man saved? There is only one answer: Christ!.
We Pray: Christ, the Victim undefiled, Alleluia! God and man hath reconciled, Alleluia! While in strange and awe-full strife, Alleluia! Met together Death and Life: Alleluia! Amen.